SM City Bacólod and Negros Museum features Brillante Mendoza Films

NEGROS BLOGGERS has once again invited to be part of an important event in the City of Bacólod. Since the group’s mission is to preserve and promote Filipino heritage, it is but timely that Negros Bloggers was invited to become a partner for this event. Promoting Filipino independent films and create awareness on social issues happening in the Philippines today, SM City Bacolod will hold a Brillante Mendoza film festival featuring the director’s internationally-acclaimed and multi-awarded films on October 10-11, 2011 at SM Cinema 4. There will be a cocktail and opening program on October 10, today at 4:30PM later at SM Cinema 4. Everyone is invited but my fellow Negros Bloggers are requested to wear Masskara t-shirts to celebrate Masskara Festival which is being held this month.

The schedule of screenings are October 10, 2011 at 01:00 –LOLA, 04:30 –FOSTER CHILD, October 11, 2011 at 10:00 –KALELDO and 12:00 –MANORO.

LOLA tells the story of two elderly women bear the consequences of a crime involving their respective grandsons— one is the victim, the other is the suspect. Both weak and poor, they laboriously solicit money in the midst of a storm — one for the victim’s burial, the other for the suspect’s bail bond. As the story unfolds, Lola Sepa, together with her 8-year-old grandson, lights a candle on the spot beside a bridge where an elder grandson was killed by a cell phone snatcher the night before. After praying, she arranges the funeral and files a formal complaint to the police. Then she wades through the bad weather to collect money for the burial and court hearing. Meanwhile, Lola Puring painstakingly raises funds for the temporary release of her grandson, the assailant, who refuses to languish in jail. A pro-bono lawyer advises her to work for an amicable settlement since the criminal case is non-bailable.

FOSTER CHILD features Thelma, husband Dado and teenage sons Gerald and Yuri who belong to an urban poor family. They were hired by a local Foster Care Facility to provide temporary home and care to abandoned babies pending the latter’s formal adoption. The inevitable separation is always a heart-rending event to the foster family. This is the story of such event, when Thelma’s latest foster child John-John is to be turned over to his adoptive American parents. Every moment with the 3 year-old John-John becomes precious as Thelma goes through the day fulfilling her duties for the last time – bathing John-John, feeding him and bringing him to school where the boy participates in a school presentation. Accompanied by the social worker Bianca, Thelma and Yuri deliver John-John to the plush hotel where the elderly American couple is billeted. The bitter-sweet turnover, underscored by the luxury of the place, delivers the painful truth that love and life are not equal.

KÀLELDO gives the viewer a glimpse of the nature of life. The film tells the story of a motherless family a decade after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo inundated the town of Guagua in Pampanga with lahar—a clear singular display of the force of nature. Mang Rudy, the widowed woodcarver, wields an iron hand over his three daughters: the fun-loving but rebellious Grace, the youngest, who goes through the throes of adjusting to married life; the feisty and headstrong Lourdes, the middle daughter, who succumbs to an extra-marital affair; and the subservient and discriminated on eldest, Jess, a lesbian who brings home her girlfriend to take care of the father after he succumbs to a heart attack. The story unfolds in a series of events (a wedding, a santacruzan, a parade, the annihilation of the summer cogon by fire, a death) that marks the beginning (early summer—”Kàleldo”), the middle (midsummer—”Maleldo”) and the end (late summer—”Kauran”) of summer. This confirms the film’s statement that life, like the various turn of events that govern the char­acters’ lives, is as changeable and volatile as the seasons.

MANORO dates back in the 2004 presidential election where Jonalyn, a 13-year old Aeta, fresh from her elementary graduation rites, teaches middle-aged and elderly Aetas to read and write, enabling them to cast their votes for the upcoming election. To her dismay, her grandfather prefers to hunt wild boar to feed every member of the Aeta community, thus missing his chance to exercise his birth right. Months later, the result of that exercise is put to suspicion because of the alleged rampant cheating. Apologies are said for lapse of judgment yet nothing has come out of it to-date.

NEGROS MUSEUM will also host a screening of Brillante Mendoza’s films like Kinatay and Serbis. It has been the program of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental to promote the local film industry and aims to see Negros as a film hub in the Philippines. In lieu of this, the Negros Museum will have special screenings of “Kinatay” and “Serbis” by Cannes Film Festival 2009 Best Director Brillante Mendoza on October 13 and 14, 2011, just before the Masskara Festival highlights.

KINATAY, which won for Mendoza the Best Director in the Cannes Film Festival, is a story that revolves around a young criminology graduate who wants to earn money so he can marry his girlfriend. He was given a chance to earn big bucks but he later found himself involved in the killing of a woman and chopping her to pieces. This will be shown on October 13, Thursday, 6:00 PM at the Museum Gallery.
SERBIS, a drama that revolves around a family who runs a dilapidated movie theater that doubles as family business and living space. This film will be screened at the Negros Museum on October 14th, Friday at 4:00 PM is “Serbis”, 2008 entry to the Cannes Film Festival. At one time a prestige establishment, the theater now runs porn double bills and serves as a meeting ground for hustlers of every conceivable persuasion. The film captures the sordid, fetid atmosphere, interweaving various family subplots with the comings and goings of customers, thieves and even a runaway goat while enveloping the viewer in a maelstrom of sound, noise and continuous motion.

DIREK BRILLANTE MENDOZA will be here to join the October MassKara festivities in Bacolod City. Direk Dante would like to meet with other artists, students and interested individuals to talk about films and art at the Negros Museum. Tickets available at P100 at the Negros Museum. Buy your tickets or reserve online through our Facebook: For more information, please call 034-7085080 | 4319451 or 09154472885.

*Sources: SM City Bacólod and Negros Museum websites.


About Mark Mayo - Magallanes

MARK MAYO - MAGALLANES – blogger by passion, cook by hobby, student by life, theater actor by fate, writer by work, and Christian by grace. Part Filipino, Chinese and Spanish by blood, he is proudly 100% Negrénse. His love for his home Island of Negros, heritage and lifestyle has led him to write much about it and full-time, all-time. View all posts by Mark Mayo - Magallanes

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